Here’s what Deb Sarah sees…

You know how sometimes you can walk around for half a day, blissfully oblivious, until someone points out you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe?

Writing is like that, sometimes. Until my agent mentioned it, I didn’t realize I was such a visual writer.

When I sit down in front of my computer, the things I tend to describe are colors and facial expressions, little gestures and mannerisms. It’s an effort for me to remember to welcome my other senses into the scene. So now after I write, I go back over my words and search for spots where I can inject sounds and tastes and the feel of certain objects. If my protagonist is sipping a glass of wine, instead of just having her lazily circle a fingertip around the rim of the glass, I try to describe the sweet burn of the wine sliding down her throat. If my character is stressed and upset, instead of having them just unconsciously clench and unclench a fist, I imagine their muscles tightening, their breath coming quicker, and their cheeks growing hot.

I don’t think my agent intended it as a criticism, but I’m really grateful she brought it up. Just like I am to the woman who pointed out the t.p. hitching a ride on my shoe yesterday.

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Sarah Pekkanen

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9 thoughts on “Here’s what Deb Sarah sees…

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  2. I have the same habit of injecting as many of the five senses as I can into a scene. I do the same with my critique partners, driving them batty demanding to know “what does the air smell like there? what noises is she hearing?”

    I haven’t read your book, but I have a feeling I’d love it. Off to put it in my TBR pile now!


  3. I’m also a huge fan of sensory details and going back and fleshing out a scene with them.

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